Tor, Oct 2002, 25.95, 416 pp.
The human, inhuman and ice dragon armies of the Great One march south causing havoc to an already besieged Rendelsham and the other southern lands already struggling with hostile frozen precipitation. To survive the onslaught, the four great houses of the south must unite in an alliance against the seemingly invincible Great One. However, a key player, dowager Queen Ysa, appears in denial as she continues to divide rather than unite by pushing the rivalries between the houses.
However, even Ysa ultimately realizes the danger though it may prove to late when the Ice Dragons begin spewing out frozen waste at its southern targets. Rohan and his Sea Rovers with their ships try to unite with the Nodors and the Bog-folk in an uneasy alliance. Unbeknownst to the desperate southern alliance is the Great One's most loyal servant is a sorceress who has seduced Rendelsham's High Marshal into leading Rohan and his allies into a trap. If they escape, they still must find a way to defeat the Great One's superior armies, unconquerable ice dragons, and ultimately yield magic that none seem to possess to crush the Great One.
The third Cycle of Oak, Yew, Ash, and Rowan novel, A CROWN DISOWNED is an exciting sword and sorcery tale though the story line provides little new from the previous two novels of this entertaining series. The fantasy contains numerous subplots focusing on war, intrigue, and betrayal, albeit the typical fare for an S&S novel. Still the cast engages the reader especially the enchanting magic gathering the myriad of fans of Andre Norton and Sasha Miller into the fold of a fine finale.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner